Are you ready for your first pearl?
We can’t change the fact that we have problems.
We can choose to see the blessings in the problems, but that doesn’t really help with the actual problem.
One thing we can do about our problems though is redefine them.
Have you ever received a false diagnosis?
Let’s say you broke your foot. After a visit to the ER, you’ve been told it’s nothing serious and icing the injury should do the trick.
In reality it is something serious! Ice will not do the trick – your foot needs to be set, you may need surgery. There will be weight restrictions to keep in mind, and exercises you must incorporate over time to recover.
That’s not going to fix a broken foot.
We aren’t always perfect at diagnosing our problems, so it’s good to get “second opinion” and consider different “treatment” options.
A very common example is the ever-present problem of finances.
A person might take a look at their bank account and realize that something has to change. They aren’t respected at work, they decide, so they can’t possibly expect to get a raise. The natural solution?
Get a brand new car! Nothing demands respect like a sparkly new SUV. Right?
It’s an expensive diagnosis, and does more to hurt the situation than help it. Next they explore new clothes, a different hairstyle. More money is spent, but do they have more respect – and more importantly, that raise?
Nope, the first approaches aren’t working. So they decide that working more hours must be the solution. After a month of 65 hour weeks, they are drained, discouraged, and still not much better off financially.
What if this person sat down and evaluated their income and expenses, compared it with the national average, and realized that their field of work simply earns a very low wage. No amount of new cars or makeovers will change that. It’s time for a new career, or at least a new approach.
When it comes to health, many people are convinced that they have specific problems that are unsolvable. They set up road blocks (knowlingly or not) that prevent them from taking another route. If they hate the gym, they don’t consider other ways to get physical activity (walking is FREE!). A lot of this has to do with their stage of behavior change, but that’s a topic for another New Year 😉
This might seem like a pretty simple pearl – just changing your viewpoint of problems and letting the light hit them at different angles. But the trick is using this pearl, and putting it into practice even when you think it might not apply.
One of the problems I am challenging, and really seeking to redefine, is the problem of not having enough time. It’s one of the many things that stops us from pushing towards our goals, but I don’t want it to stop me.
What about you? What problems are you going to redefine?